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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCaptain's Way - Spaceship crew management sim
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Author Topic: Captain's Way - Spaceship crew management sim  (Read 6819 times)
orseoste7o
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« on: September 14, 2016, 11:50:23 pm »

The game has changed drastically since these initial posts. This is what it looks like now!



____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The easiest was to describe Captain's Way is the combat and ship physics of Captain Forever (http://www.captainforever.com/captainforever.php) meets the crew management of FTL. Your ship is made up out of blocks, with their own weight and what not, which is propelled around using thrusters. Your entire ship is destructible, and can be blown in half. The destruction is based around the location of your captain; should your ship get blown in half the game follows the half your captain is in. When the ship is breached, air is sucked out in a matter of seconds (and any nearby crew) and the room is depressurized until you can seal it up (providing you have a working oxygen system).

All art is placeholder! These screenshots are obviously very WIP. Yes, that is a art pack but the majority of those ship sprites have already been replaced, should have more accurate screenshots soon.


The crew management aspect comes in with operation seats. You need a crew member in a pilot seat to actually be able to control your ship, and for anything to work (shields, engines and weapons) it needs to be in the vicinity of a crew member sitting on a operation seat. You also need to move your crew around to seal breaches and fight boarders.

Sorry about the terrible gif quality, I'm still getting a hold of how to make good ones.


The gameplay is as follows: You warp into a system, survive against waves of enemies then use the scrap from defeating them to repair and buy new blocks for your ship. Each system you warp into is randomly generated, with randomly generated nebula, asteroids, wreckage, planets and all the other typical space trash. There will also be neutral space monsters to help or hinder you.



The game is being made in Game Maker: Studio and development has been on and off for the last year and a half. I'm the sole developer, and plan on getting an artist to re-skin the game should I ever get a successful kickstarter going. I'm planning to make the sound effects myself, and my awesome brother has agreed to compose the soundtrack for me, you can lsiten to his stuff here:

https://soundcloud.com/nickmanser
Have a listen to "Heat Signature Unofficial Score - No Anchor" as that's the mood I want to nail with the game.

I'm currently building up to a kickstarter. I need to add in being able to design your own ship and repair/change it between systems, add boarders (I have the AI for enemies in ship in place, but currently they have no way of actually getting in there), and enough gameplay variety with the enemies to be able to make a fun looking trailer. But I figured I have enough to show to talk about it here, at least :D

Happy to answer any questions!

Follow the game on twitter here:
https://twitter.com/CaptainsWayGame
Check out the game's website:
http://captainsway.weebly.com/
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 02:12:20 am by orseoste7o » Logged
SiJaf
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 02:49:47 am »

I like it conceptually, especially the element of the destructible ship. Basically you try to survive, even if the ship has been breached Hand Thumbs Up Left
I think that part could be a real key point of your game!

Following questions came into my mind from a game design perspective:
  • How to keep the game balanced, so that players still have comeback opportunities after their ship has been breached?
  • Is the player able to build up a breached ship? Eventually with breached parts of the enemies? Basically a Frankenstein's Monstership Wink This could be a great dynamic
  • What is the long-term aspiration of the player? Reach a goal? Have the biggest ship?

I suggest thinking about those points. Great work!  Hand Thumbs Up Left
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 03:12:15 am »

I like it conceptually, especially the element of the destructible ship. Basically you try to survive, even if the ship has been breached Hand Thumbs Up Left
I think that part could be a real key point of your game!

Following questions came into my mind from a game design perspective:
  • How to keep the game balanced, so that players still have comeback opportunities after their ship has been breached?
  • Is the player able to build up a breached ship? Eventually with breached parts of the enemies? Basically a Frankenstein's Monstership Wink This could be a great dynamic
  • What is the long-term aspiration of the player? Reach a goal? Have the biggest ship?

I suggest thinking about those points. Great work!  Hand Thumbs Up Left

Good questions, I've actually already covered those first 2 points! So when a wall or floor tile is destroyed it leaves a 'breach here' indicator. When you move crew near these breach indicators (when it's safe to do so, and oxygen isn't still being sucked out the room) they start building a barricade to seal the breach. Fully constructed barricades have half the HP of walls. So if you seal breaches immediately, you can maintain the structure of your ship's rooms. But when they start destroying your floor, you have to construct barricades where the floor was. You can see it in action here:



So it's very possible to seal up your breaches and keep flying as normal. Your ship is persistent between battles (systems?) so if you have huge chunks blown away from your ship and still survive, you could spend your money restoring the ship to it's original state, or leave the damaged blocks and barricades as they are and focus on extending the ship elsewhere. So it's very possible to end up flying a huge 'Frankenstein's Monstership' haha

As for the long term goal of the player, I've had the idea for a while that you're a captain tasked with smuggling a crew through federation/empire/corrupt government space for a while now. You're goal would to simply be survive long enough to warp to the next system (for 8? 10? systems) until you reach some sort of blockade (aka a boss fight). You get past that and you win! You would be scored on how many remaining crew you have.
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2016, 05:51:48 pm »

Recently I've been working on the fighter/bomber mechanic of combat and automated turrets you can put on the outside of your ship. The fighters and bombers work similarly to how they do in Sins of a Solar Empire; bombers target larger ships, and fighters are anti-fighter/anti-bomber. This means you need to strike a good balance between fighters and bombers, enough bombers to take out their larger ships yet enough fighters to protect them against their own fighters.

Fighters and bombers are attached to hangers on the outside of your ship, and like anything else require a nearby crew member in a operation seat to work. Enemy fighters and bombers come from carrier ships (not yet implemented). When a fighter or bomber you launched is destroyed, it's only replenished at the start of the next system.

The way I've programmed the game means that something as simple as checking for collisions between a turret and enemy space ships is probably considerably more complicated than one would think, but I'm getting there  Tongue

« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:05:38 am by orseoste7o » Logged
orseoste7o
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 12:47:32 am »

Today I finished adding in enemy crew members blowing holes in your ship then entering through the breaches. Given the nature of how they enter your ship, these types of boarders aren't affected by suction and lack of oxygen, so watch out!



In the final game I'm planning different types of boarders, such one ones that teleport onto your ship, but can be sucked out and suffocated just like your crew can. Some boarders may even be armed with bombs to leave on your ship to disarm before it's too late.

Next I have to spend some time optimizing, fixing some graphical glitches, and then I get to finally get started on ship construction. Full steam ahead!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:05:30 am by orseoste7o » Logged
orseoste7o
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 11:08:22 pm »

Finally getting boarders and the majority of the enemy ship types working means that I can finally start work on ship building. Honestly, I've never never enjoyed GUI kind of work, it's so tedious getting the coordinates for everything perfect and drawing buttons is so boring  No No NO But this is the last aspect of the game I need to get working before I'm onto adding enough meat to the game to get it kickstarter ready, so that's exciting!

Here's what I have after a few hours work:



You can drag the box with all the parts in it around. There's 3 categories of parts; base, interior and outer ship. Base being floor, walls, seats and boosters. Interior is shields, healing bays, turrets and the like and finally outer ship is obviously anything else that you can smack on the outside of your ship such as weapons. These categories are not final! When this is done I need to figure out a way to port the ships you design in this to DS grids to save and load actual ships from in game.

You only start with the most basic of each part, and unlock parts as you progress throughout the playthough. So you end up with completely different sets of parts to build your ship with each playthough. Hopefully this should improve the replayability of the game.Eventually I'm hoping to have enough parts to allow for random sets of parts to unlock each game too.

I've also started drafting up the kickstarter page, and a website in weebly Tongue
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:05:21 am by orseoste7o » Logged
lobstersteve
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2016, 11:01:13 am »

nice idea Smiley
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2016, 06:04:01 pm »

nice idea Smiley

Glad you think so!  Beer!

Work continues on ship building. I've made great progress, I've got all the base objects working and the rest shouldn't take long to implement at all. The ship builder also ports the ship to a DS grid to be used in game! Though it doesn't save block HP, doesn't take how airtight your ship is into account and whether or not certain blocks are close enough to operation seats to work, but that's next on the to do list!



I'm happy to answer any questions!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:05:14 am by orseoste7o » Logged
orseoste7o
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2016, 04:15:01 pm »

I've done it! You can now build ships in the editor to be used in game! This is such a huge part of the game, I'm glad to finally have the core programming for it done. Now to add the rest of the existing parts + polish, and also reverse engineer it all in a way I can port the ship in game back into the editor at the end of each round.



I also launched a website, just to serve as a landing page to direct people too. Check it out here:

http://captainsway.weebly.com/
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:05:04 am by orseoste7o » Logged
orseoste7o
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2016, 05:47:04 pm »

Recently I've been taking steps to overhaul the graphics of the entire game myself. The goal was to improve readability, give the player's ship a clear theme and unique style. I'm quite pleased with the result! Maybe I won't have to hire an artist after all. After finishing with this, I just need to flesh out the ship editor (allow for selling/repairing blocks etc), implement crew upgrades, and overall polish.  

Behold! Let me know what you think.


(Does anybody know how to automatically adjust the image size to fit with the forum width?)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:04:54 am by orseoste7o » Logged
orseoste7o
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2016, 01:01:27 am »

As work on overhauling the game's graphics and ship editor continues, I took a small detour to implement asteroid fields. Feast your eyes!



I'm getting so close to the stage where I'm done with the mechanics and will be able to focus solely on the meat of the game; the enemies, new parts, and balance. I'm excited!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 03:04:45 am by orseoste7o » Logged
Dacke
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2016, 02:39:36 am »

very nice idea, looking forward to seeing more Smiley

(Does anybody know how to automatically adjust the image size to fit with the forum width?)




just adjusting the image:
Code:
[img width=850]http://i.imgur.com/SEJC5fv.jpg[/img]

also clickable for full version:
Code:
[url=http://i.imgur.com/SEJC5fv.jpg][img width=850]http://i.imgur.com/SEJC5fv.jpg[/img][/url]


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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2016, 07:25:18 am »

So what is the gameplay like. At you tossed into space with a weak ship and you must fight off random pirates?

I'm guessing the building is similar to Captain's?

So you assign crew to stations, such as pilot, in order to use that specific station
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2016, 05:55:03 pm »

very nice idea, looking forward to seeing more Smiley

Thanks! Good to know, I've adjusted all my images in the thread.

So what is the gameplay like. At you tossed into space with a weak ship and you must fight off random pirates?

I'm guessing the building is similar to Captain's?

So you assign crew to stations, such as pilot, in order to use that specific station

You start off with a set amount of money to buy parts and build your ship, to smuggle crew through a series of hostile systems. When you warp into a system you have to survive a bunch of waves, then you get a chance to repair, rebuild and upgrade your ship, then you warp to another system. The ship building is actually done in between systems, in a actual ship editor. You buy and place blocks using money awarded to you at the end of each round. Parts are unlocked throughout your play through.



The reason for this is I figured that while steering your ship and commanding your crew at the same time, also dragging on and rearranging parts in real time would just be too much for the player to keep track of (even with the ability to pause time and give crew orders). Another reason is the oxygen mechanic of the game; when walls are destroyed and your ship is breached oxygen is sucked from your ship (and any nearby crew). This would be crazy to deal with while rearranging the floor and walls of your ship on the fly like captain forever. Instead when a block is destroyed you can order a crew member to stand near it to automatically build up a temporary 'barricade', just pretty much a  weaker wall, to plug the breach Smiley



Finally, instead of having stations like in FTL you simply have 2 types of seats. Pilot seat, and operation seats. You have to have a crew member on a pilot seat to be able to steer the ship, and crew on a operation seat to be able to use any nearby weapons, engines or shields.

Hope that clears things up!

Edit: Took this nice action shot, where you can see all of the mechanics in action.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2016, 06:13:31 pm by orseoste7o » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2016, 04:25:29 am »

Does it feature lovers in a dangerous spacetime like multiplayer? Since I played that game, I so want wore of it. And can you make a free demo of your game?
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2016, 03:08:59 pm »

Does it feature lovers in a dangerous spacetime like multiplayer? Since I played that game, I so want wore of it. And can you make a free demo of your game?

No plans for multiplayer right now, sorry Sad The game isn't based around individual player controlled crew members (via keyboard and mouse) like I assume it is in lovers in a dangerous spacetime, though I haven't actually played it. I need to though!

Once I get the game to a point where you can build your ship, warp it into a system and survive a few waves with it I'll release a free demo Smiley
« Last Edit: September 30, 2016, 04:20:02 pm by orseoste7o » Logged
orseoste7o
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« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2016, 11:28:36 pm »

I've been clicking away adding lots of small details and doing some fine tuning lately, so not much to show sadly Sad I've added crew animations for walking, the player's ship now warps in with this bubble flash thing, there's been lots of bug fixes and lots of putting off making a start on the next set of large changes.



These being, the ability to manually rotate some parts in the ship editor, selling/repairing parts in the ship editor, show where you can place parts on the grid (right now parts flash green or red depending on whether they're placement is valid or not but I want to do better), updating the decay on ship parts as they lose HP, and crew upgrades, names and selection from the HUD FTL style. Also optimizations, saving/loading the environment, auto placing crew on room start, improving crew commands and the list goes on and on. So plenty to do before I can release a demo sadly Sad Sometimes it feels like to the todo list never ends.
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2016, 02:43:51 am »

Hey guys, not much to show sadly. Recently I've just been polishing up crew commands and ship building. Before, you could only direct your crew where to move, and what they did when they got there was context sensitive to their surroundings. They would prioritize shooting boarders, then sealing breaches, then using whatever chair they might be standing on. Obviously this means that potentially your crew won't be doing what you want them to do, which is what I've been trying to fix. Now, you can direct crew to seal specific breaches. Choosing specific targets should be done in the next few days, along with 'pins' that show up when your paused to show your commands.

On the ship editor side of things, I've finally implemented selling and repairing blocks. I'm still to add the ability to rotate some blocks, and refunding your entire ship to start anew. With crew commands and rotating/clearing done I should be able to move onto crew upgrades, which should be pretty cool. I'm planning for upgrades that allow crew to breath without oxygen, avoid getting sucked out, and have greater damage and health.

That's all for now!
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2016, 05:17:09 pm »

I'm taking the day off from uni home sick so I figured I might as well take a little time to write about development happenenings. More work on the ship editor! I've added the ability to rotate blocks, now I need to port everything to the actual game properly. Right now the game just looks at a single DS_grid, and builds a ship off of that. But this doesn't take into account block HP that may have been modified in the ship editor, or custom rotations.



So what I've done is exported a few more grids for the game to look at when building your ship; one for rotations, one for outer ship HP and one for inner ship HP. I can't have all block HP on a single grid because some blocks stack (chairs on the floor for example). Right now I'm getting the game to look at these new grids, and create blocks accordingly. Fun!
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orseoste7o
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2016, 01:40:22 am »

I thought I'd take a moment to discuss my randomly generated nebula, and how I achieved them. The goal was something like Tom Francis' Heat Signature (http://www.heatsig.com/) but unfortunately I don't have access to anybody, or am personally capable of drawing space clouds like he does. I wanted nebula that could be any shape and size, and be of endless variety and somehow always look good. Here's the end result:

You can see more nebula on the game's twitter (https://twitter.com/CaptainsWayGame)
Essentially what I did was generate a bunch of noise images using gimp:

Then only illuminate parts of these sprites using surfaces and blend modes with images like this:

(These images are scaled and rotated of course. They are also colored based on the nebula's unique base colors)

Then draw those surfaces layered on top of each other. There's also dark spots drawn in, and a plain color splash behind each nebula. Simple! I've got some issues with nebula being cut off by the edges of the surface, and some nasty color schemes but the majority of the time it works beautifully.
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